The Migration Period (375 to 568 CE) of Central and Eastern Europe was a tumultuous time politically, culturally, and socially. Historical and archaeological evidence provide support for the large-scale movement of multiple tribes and groups, including the Gepids and Avars, although biogeochemical evidence for mobility is currently limited for these populations. Mobility can impact individual and group health and identity, and has socio-political implications for broader regions involved. As such, identifying the extent and scale of mobility within a given population can provide nuanced insights into multiple aspects of life and society in the past. To investigate mobility in a population during and immediately following the Migration Period, bulk stable isotope analysis of stable carbon and oxygen were conducted on skeletal remains of Gepidic and Avar period individuals (n = 24) from the Hungarian site of Berettyóújfalu. Paired tooth enamel and bone bioapatite samples were analyzed, in order to reconstruct both early and later life values. The results of these multi-isotope and multi-tissue analyses indicate that there are statistically significant differences between paired bone (later life) and tooth enamel (earlier life) bioapatite values, providing evidence for change across the life course. Additionally, there is some tentative evidence that the females at the site may have been more mobile than the males, although further research is needed to corroborate this. Broadly, this research provides a meaningful contribution to the growing literature on isotopic variation and mobility in Gepidic and Avar communities, and thus creates a more nuanced image of life in Migration Period Hungary more generally.
Toyne, J. Marla
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Muir, Brianna Jayne, "Investigating Mobility Across the Life Course Through Stable Isotope Analysis at the Early Medieval Site of Berettyóújfalu Somata, Hungary" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1620.
Restricted to the UCF community until 5-15-2024; it will then be open access.